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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 22/01/2007
Review of Waverley Training Services - Update Report



APPENDIX B
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
22ND JANUARY 2007

Title:
REVIEW OF WAVERLEY TRAINING SERVICES – UPDATE REPORT
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

The report provides member and officer feedback on the visits, on 29th November 2006 and 5th December 2006, to Waverley Training Services (WTS), the Pump House, Kimbers Lane, Farnham. At the meeting the Committee will also be receiving a presentation from a representative of the Surrey Learning and Skills Council (SLSC) on the development of training services for young people in Waverley.

Environmental implications

The review will consider the environmental implications associated with the operation of Waverley Training Services.

Social / community implications:

The review will consider the social and community benefits associated with the operation of Waverley Training Services.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-Government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no direct resource and legal implications associated with this report other than the officer time involved in the review.

Background

1. Two groups of members of the Committee, comprising eight members in total, visited WTS, the first group on 29th November 2006 and the second on 5th December 2006. Members toured the offices and annexe building and met with Pat Pryke, WTS Manager and members of her team and some students.


Information gathered

2. Waverley Training Services (WTS) was established in 1983 as a not-for-profit unit of Waverley Borough Council, originally delivering the Youth Opportunities Programme (YOPs) and then the Youth Training Programme (YTS). Today it is an approved Training Centre delivering post-16 training and development for young people under the national post-16 learning arrangements.

3. WTS is primarily funded through annually renewable contracts with Surrey Learning and Skills Council (SLSC).

4. WTS works to a SLSC contract manager and is subject to regular audit and progress review at that level. It is also, periodically, subject to formal inspection by the Adult Learning Inspectorate (the equivalent of an ‘Ofsted’ inspection of schools). The last formal inspection was in 2005 when WTS was rated as ‘Good’. A copy of the inspection report is attached at Annexe 1.

5. Specifically, WTS provides modern apprenticeships for young people in motor vehicle, horticulture, information and communications technology, business administration, customer services and retailing. It also offers Entry to Employment (E2E) programmes for less able young people under partnership arrangements, made by SLSC, with Guildford College. Details of the apprenticeships and the other programmes provided for young people are attached at Annexe 2.

6. WTS attracts learners from both Surrey and Hampshire approximately 50% of trainees come from within the borough, most from the Farnham and surrounding areas.

7. WTS has training rooms and three computer suites for learners, although most of the apprenticeship training takes place in learners’ workplaces. Training for E2E takes place in a separate annex building. Off-the-job motor vehicle training is subcontracted to Farnborough College of Technology and learners attend for one day each week.

8. Over the last four years WTS has been involved in helping local schools develop work based opportunities for the 14-16 age groups. WTS has a high proportion of young people with ‘special needs’ on its register this makes it unique amongst approved training organisations in the region. Young people on WTS programmes come from diverse backgrounds and include young offenders, travellers and young people excluded from school.

9. Waverley is not statutorily obliged to provide the WTS function. WTS’ main source of funding is the Surrey Learning and Skills Council. The work that is done supporting local schools is on a contractual basis between Waverley Training Services, as an ‘arm’ of Waverley Borough Council, and the individual school. The Council provides this service on the principle that its income should, at least, cover its operating costs and, ideally, the full costs of funding the service including the support costs associated with being part of Waverley Borough Council. Waverley Training Services has reported an overall operating surplus over the past 3 years. Details of the WTS draft 2007/08 budget are included elsewhere on this agenda in the item ‘Draft General Fund Revenue Estimates 2007/08’

10. The staff at WTS are a mixture of part-time, contract and full-time employees with Waverley being the employer.

11. WTS is not a school and it is often for this reason that young people who have not succeeded in a school setting are more comfortable with the WTS environment.

12. The support of businesses in facilitating work placements is an area that WTS highlighted it is finding hard to develop. Attached at Annexe 3 is an information leaflet produced to help gain the interest and support of businesses.

13. WTS’ catchment area is mainly focused on Farnham and Aldershot and members questioned service provision for other parts of Waverley. In WTS’ view there is a case for developing a similar service to serve other parts of the borough and in particular in Cranleigh and Godalming (Haslemere benefits from the existing Skillway service). Recommendation

It is recommended that the Committee:
1. considers the above report and receives a presentation from a representative of the Surrey Learning and Skills Council; and

2. the Committee gives consideration to the conclusions and recommendations it wishes to reach on this review.

Background Papers (MD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Roger Standing Telephone: 01483 523221
E-mail: rstanding@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/o&s1/2006-07/058